Diagnosing & Treating Chronic Pain
Chronic Pain Care in Central Texas
Pinpointing the exact cause and location of a patient’s pain is highly dependent on the patient-doctor relationship. Patients need to be completely honest and comfortable talking to the doctor about their pain.
Everyone has a different tolerance for pain, so getting to know the patient and how he or she perceives pain is important for us as pain management doctors. The patient and doctor should both be involved with the diagnosis and treatment process.
We can use a nerve block or other technique to diagnose certain types of pain, but our doctors rely on you for more clues when describing your pain – where is it, when does it happen, what does it feel like, how often are you in pain, etc.
You may want to keep a record of your pain and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 for a few days or weeks. Keeping a record of your pain is also helpful for tracking your progress during treatment so that you can see the change.
Treatment for chronic pain should be tailored to the individual. For most patients, treatment is about managing chronic pain – not curing it. Pain is a symptom of the primary problem, so until that is resolved, the pain can only be minimized so that you are comfortable.
More than that, we want you to achieve optimal function every day – wake up easily, get out of bed without hurting, play with your kids, go to work, run errands, and be able to relax at the end of the day without feeling exhausted, sore, or depressed. In order to accomplish this, the patient and doctor have to work together to find the most effective combination of pain treatments and self-care techniques.
Self-management of chronic pain has been shown to not only change how people deal with their pain, but they also improve their overall well-being by staying active and healthy and spending more quality time with friends and family. Having an open conversation with a doctor you can trust is crucial to finding what will work best.
Treatment options for chronic pain may include:
- OTC or prescription anti-inflammatory medications
- Prescription pain medicine
- Muscle relaxers
- Steroid injections
- Nerve blocks
- Electrothermal therapy
- Radiofrequency thermocoagulation
- Massage therapy
- Thai Chi
- Exercise therapy
If you have undiagnosed pain that has been bothering you for several weeks or months, you should talk to your doctor. Pain tends to get worse as time goes on, so don’t delay. If you want an expert opinion from a pain management doctor, call us at (855) 876-7246.